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Automation Technologies 2/2015

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Automation Technologies 2/2015


COMPONENTS AND SOFTWARE If energy chains are installed hanging, an energy chain needs to be tough and able to absorb high push-pull forces. The strong air currents, dynamic movement and high fill weight require a high tensile strength energy chain – hence the choice of E2/000. The igus engineers have achieved such high strength and stability through the large pin and bore connection and the stop-dog system in the links. The links in the e-chains are equipped with a double stop-dog system, which ensures long unsupported lengths of the upper run even with high fill weights. Tests in the laboratory have proved that more than two stop-dogs cannot be fully synchronised. In designs with multiple stops, these then wear out faster without offering increased performance. Using tight tolerances ensure a virtually clearance-free motion allowing travel speeds of around 10 m/s. Through constant research and development, the engineers have also developed a special form of stopprevious page stage equipment and music or theatre events to manage lighting or sound cables. Also there are no power or data cables hanging which might affect the aesthetics, because the energy chains discreetly guide cables above or below the visible area. In buildings and outdoor installations where residential buildings are getting closer to industry, it is important to keep the noise down. For this reason, “brakes” are installed in the e-chains, which damp the noise and vibration when rolling on hard surfaces. The principle is simple, but very effective: the wedge-shaped stop-dog is slightly slanted so that the contact is gradual rather than instant. Machines are increasingly compact, so that it can be difficult to access the energy supply system and its cables and hoses. For this reason, the crossbars of the E2/000 series open easily both to the right or left. The crossbars can be on the inner or outer radius depending on the access need. In the enclosed e- tube version, the lid can also swing fully open on both sides or even be removed. In this way, cables and hoses can be quickly and easily laid in the chain – whether during initial installation, retrofitting or replacement of cables. In one case of a hydraulic crane, for example, the hoses were previously difficult to service until the system was replaced with the 2,700 series e-chain where it can now be opened quickly from either side. The crossbar can be pivoted open by more than 180°. In the closed condition they are firmly locked into the chain – depending on series, they withstand break-open loads of up to 700 N. Nevertheless, they can be opened quickly with the chain opener, a screwdriver and even by hand. In addition, special extender crossbars allow oversized suction hoses in woodworking or specialised CNC machines to be guided in the energy chain without needing much extra space. Double stop-dog for low wear 02 In the drilling and pile-driving machine, the energy chain contains hydraulic hoses with different weights and diameters AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 2/2015

COMPONENTS AND SOFTWARE 04 The cable-friendly base geometry and low wear plastic of the crossbars provides a long service life of the cables in the energy chain 03 The separators and crossbars can be accurately positioned. This saves assembly time and reduces the cost dog. With its rectangular geometry, the energy chain can achieve even more unsupported length, since the force is evenly distributed compared with round stopdogs. In the E4.1 series, the stop-dogs are arranged in such a way that they contact vertically. In this way, the force is distributed over three points, so that push-pull forces of up to 7,000 N and fill weights of 600 kg/m can be absorbed. The stop-dogs are also covered to protect against the ingress of dirt and cable wear. E4.1 energy chain is the most flexible of all igus chains because of its four-part structure. Due to the extensive range, they can be adapted to almost any applications. There are inner heights from 21 to 350 mm and with the aid of extension links, widths up to three metres are possible. The double lock of the crossbar holds the cables and hoses securely even with a heavy fill weight, yet can still be easily opened with a screwdriver. In addition, the design features inner and outer links. In this way, the e-chain runs straight on long travels and can be easily assembled. The pretension is removed by simply rotating the outer link – ideal where space is limited. The “tongue and groove” offers extra stability for side mounted applications. By the interlocking the chain links with each other, the E4.1 achieves high torsional stiffness and stability. This feature plays a major role in a three-axis platformtype semi-trailer, which was specially developed for wind turbine blades. The vehicle can be extended from 20 to 62 m long using a triple-telescopic platform. The energy chains are side-mounted in the confined space of the inner beams of the telescope system. They are exposed to large forces during the extension/ retraction process, because a support surface is not possible throughout. These forces are absorbed by the tongue and groove of the E4.1. The long travel and the high fill weight with electrical cables and brake and hydraulic hoses place high demands on the E4.1. A safe guiding of vital during telescoping, as failure would incur high repair costs. It must also withstand vibration and temperature fluctuations. AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 2/2015


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